For immediate release: Jan 22, 2013
Posted by: [s03]
Contact: Elise Shrock-Mannies
Phone: 317-232-9496

Rogers honors memory of Gary's Quentin Page Smith

INDIANAPOLIS-Taking a Point of Personal Privilege on the Indiana Senate floor, State Senator Earline Rogers (D-Gary) honored the memory of Quentin Page Smith, a Gary leader and Sen. Rogers' 12th grade English teacher.

Dear Mr. Smith,

While waiting for my meeting to begin in Education Committee, I turned on my iPad and saw your picture on the front page of my hometown newspaper and an article announcing that at the age of 94 you had passed!  My favorite teacher!  Who could stand in the middle of the chalkboard and begin a sentence writing with his left hand and complete the sentence with his right without moving a step.  I learned later that this meant you were ambidextrous, but then I thought - "How Cool!".

My 12th grade English teacher that once gave me an assignment to select a letter of the alphabet that would be the first letter of three words and use those three words in a composition.  My choice was the letter W and my composition was entitled "Wine Women and Watermelon".  I received an "A" but more importantly I received a much needed boost to my self-esteem.

I also remember the stories you told.  Imagine storytelling, usually reserved for the elementary school but immensely enjoyed by those of us about to embark in the unknown world of post-secondary education.  The one story I remember was about Sownjack (not sure of the spelling) the sailor, who after sailing the seven seas ended his life by drowning in a puddle of water.

I was an adult when I learned of your service to our country as a Tuskegee Airman, the group of WWII African Americans that made us all proud as you battled not only the enemy in WWII, but the racism that was prevalent in our Armed Forces.  In 2007 you received the Congressional Gold Medal for your efforts.  Your service is perhaps unparalleled to our community as an elementary and secondary principal, a city councilperson, member of our airport board.  There was only once when I questioned your judgment and that was when you switched political parties, yes, from Democrat to Republican, but please allow me to hasten and add, in case I never told you, I forgave you!

Let me close by saying, "Thank you Quentin Page Smith for everything, your service to our Country, our State, the City of Gary, and the Profession of Teaching, Your grateful, appreciative and forever thankful student.

A moment of silence was had by all present in the Indiana Senate Chamber to honor Smith's memory and lifetime of service to the City of Gary and State of Indiana.

Sen. Rogers represents Indiana Senate District 3 which encompasses portions of Lake County. District 3 communities include Gary, Lake Station, New Chicago, Hobart, Ainsworth, Merrillville and Crown Point.

For more information on Sen. Rogers, her legislative agenda or other State Senate business call 1-800-382-9467 or visit www.IN.gov/s3.

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NOTE: A photo of Sen. Earline Rogers can be downloaded at http://www.in.gov/legislative/senate_democrats/images/headshots/Rogers.jpg

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